For many people ‘child stress’ can seem like an oxymoron. After all what emotional or physical upheaval can a child face that would lead to stress. Most people think that since everything of the child is taken care of, with the adults doing all the running about, it is a myth that any child can be stressed out. If you can get stressed out after a hard day at office, and then making your way home through congested traffic then think of the child who has to spend a great deal of time coping up with the pace of life, and not being able to articulate it. Because the symptoms are so subtle, the stress in children is especially difficult to identify. Sometimes, a child can get stressed from any form of trauma and it can have a very negative impact on the mind of the kid. Stress in children can ruin their childhood and so it is absolutely necessary that you take steps to address this problem. Read below for the various tips on identifying child stress.
Child Stress Symptoms
Recognizing the symptoms will help you in identifying whether the child is suffering from stress or not.
- Due to stress, the child may have difficulty going to sleep. He or she may also wake up frequently during sleep. So, see if the child is suffering from any sleep disorders. Also, stress can lead to nightmares and bedwetting in the child.
- Persistent negative thoughts can also point towards stress. See if the child broods on any kind of trauma that he or she may have seen or experienced. So, it is better to ask the child what is bothering him or her.
- If the child is suffering from stress due to trauma then he or she will form a belief that other bad things are likely to occur. Listen to what the child says. If the child always fears that, anything bad is about to happen then you can say that he or she is suffering from stress.
- The child will also become hyper-alert. He or she will be constantly on their toes. This can point to the fact that the child is feeling vulnerable.
- In some cases, behaviors like thumb sucking can also point towards stress. They also show dependent behavior like clinging onto their parents or nanny.
- Some children experience stress because of the stress in the family life. Sometime if they find that their parents are unable to resolves issues, that is if the child thinks that the parents are not powerful then the child becomes fearful and which ultimately leads to stress.
- Constant crying can also point towards child stress. He/she may be afraid of something and that may lead to stress. Other factors that can point to this are vomiting, running away, or becoming mute.
- When the child experiences grief and it remains unresolved then it can lead to depression and stress. The child will evince this by staying sad or by expressing anger. He or she will also resist any efforts of being comforted. Sometimes, the child will just stay passive. If you find the child with any of these extreme behaviors then you can say that the child is stressed.
- Stress in children can also affect their physical health. If the child complains of headaches frequently then the underlying cause can be attributed to stress. Due to stress, the child will also experience frequent stomachaches. You can safely say that the illnesses are due stress if there is no other cause that can be attributed to it.